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Most of us have bitten our tongue when eating, but did you know many people experience the problem of biting their tongue in their sleep? Usually, children bite their tongues while they’re asleep, but adults are affected by this problem as well. There are a bunch of reasons that could cause you to have this condition. Tongue-biting might indicate conditions like sleep apnea, bruxism, facial muscle spasms, and more.

In this blog, we’ll go over the reasons why you’re biting your tongue in sleep. Carry on reading to find out.

Why Do I Bite My Tongue When I Sleep?

If you bite your tongue when sleeping, it could lead to issues like infections, ulcers, and a scalloped tongue. However, since this happens unconsciously, it’s hard to determine the cause or to stop it. Most of the time, medical conditions are responsible for tongue biting while sleeping. Some causes include:


Teeth grinding and clenching, also called bruxism, is a problem that affects many people. Grinding your teeth together could be detrimental to your dental health. Moreover, it leads to problems like soreness, pain, worn-out enamel, and more. Tongue-biting during sleep could also be due to bruxism.

If you suspect this condition, it’s better to visit a dentist for bruxism treatment. They can recommend adequate solutions to reduce the effects of teeth grinding.

Sleep Apnea

Tongue biting does not necessarily result from sleep apnea. Still, many sleep apnea patients bite their tongues while sleeping. This could be because people suffering from this sleep disorder usually have larger tongues or relaxed muscles in the mouth. As a result, they experience abnormal or pauses in breathing during sleep. Furthermore, the relaxed muscles and large tongue might lead to tongue biting while sleeping.

Snoring, gasping for air when sleeping, headaches in the morning, and daytime sleepiness are some symptoms of sleep apnea. Consult a sleep apnea specialist if you suspect this condition.


The way your teeth occlude is known as ‘occlusion.’ When your teeth don’t occlude properly, malocclusion or bite misalignment occurs. Hence, you might be biting your tongue in sleep if your teeth are out of alignment.

Misaligned bites can lead to additional issues. You’ll need to see an orthodontist to treat a malocclusion.

Facial Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms can occur anywhere in the body, including the face. Facial muscle spasms lead to loss of control over facial or jaw muscles during sleep. As a result, they are a common cause of biting the tongue in sleep. Factors like anxiety, stress, nerve damage, and viruses might be responsible for facial spasms. Another name for facial muscle spasms is “faciomandibular myoclonus.”

Nighttime Seizures

One loses control over their body when a seizure occurs. People who suffer from epilepsy have seizures, which could lead to unconscious biting of the tongue in sleep. Thus, nighttime seizures are also a possible culprit of tongue biting while sleeping.

The Takeaway

If you’re biting your tongue in sleep, it could be due to sleep apnea, bruxism, malocclusion, facial muscle spasms, nighttime seizures, and more. Visiting a credible dentist, like Smiles on Greatwood Dentistry team, can help you determine the cause. Get started on the treatments by visiting us at 19875 Southwest Fwy #120, Sugar Land, TX 77479. You can also schedule an appointment at (281) 937-7530.

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